A Wartime Friend
206 pages
English

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206 pages
English
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Description

Will an unlikely friendship be enough to save them?
After escaping a train bound for a death camp with a trusty German Shepherd dog, a girl wakes to find that she has no memory of her former life.

Lily is fostered by the kind RAF pilot who found her and his wife, Meg. It is not long before their lives are disrupted once again by the war and, with their home in ruins, they are forced to flee to the country.

In the Somerset countryside, Lily is reunited with Rudy, the heroic German Shepherd. However it soon becomes clear that Rudy is not just her companion, he is protecting her too, and someone wants him out of the way…

A gripping historical saga of friendship and family from bestselling author Lizzie Lane.

Praise for Lizzie Lane:


'A gripping saga and a storyline that will keep you hooked' Rosie Goodwin

'The Tobacco Girls is another heartwarming tale of love and friendship and a must-read for all saga fans.' Jean Fullerton

'Lizzie Lane opens the door to a past of factory girls, redolent with life-affirming friendship, drama, and choices that are as relevant today as they were then.' Catrin Collier


Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 23 novembre 2021
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781802808049
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0850€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Exrait

A Wartime Friend


Lizzie Lane
Contents



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Epilogue


Read On - War Orphans

More from Lizzie Lane

About the Author

About Boldwood Books
1

In her dream, she was back in Austria, the country where she’d been born, dancing around a picnic table spread with food of every description: creamy slices of confectionery, pies, and succulent pieces of chicken; puddings, plums, pears, and freshly baked bread spread with bright-yellow butter.
Her father’s English friends were visiting and she had the chance to practise her English on them. Her father smiled with pride on hearing her.
‘Perfect! Just perfect.’
The sun was shining across the great expanse of lawn and the air was full of the smell of flowers. The breeze whispered through the leaves of the oak tree, beneath which the sumptuous picnic had been set. White, linen tablecloths flapped on square, iron-framed tables.
Walking across the lawn, his head and shoulders dappled with sunlight, she saw her father looking handsome and strong in his dark-grey suit, smiling through the thickness of his beard. Her mother drifted through the assembled guests, nodding and smiling at each one, her chiffon tea dress floating behind her like the open wings of a butterfly, pale-lilac streaked with purple. The laughter and animated conversation mingled with the sound of bees buzzing from one summer rose bush to another. Their buzzing became louder and, as it did so, petals fell from the roses, the laughter and conversation diminishing.
Her attention was suddenly drawn to the edge of the pond where what looked like bees rose in a gigantic pillar, spiraling upwards in a noisy black swarm. Mesmerised, she watched as the buzzing changed to something else, a terrifying sound like the clattering of many feet pounding on a wooden bandstand. Her father back by her side, she tugged at his sleeve, but he did not answer. His expression was grave and her mother’s face had turned white, her pale skin tightening over her high cheekbones. Her mouth opened unnaturally wide, her dulcet voice suddenly a blood-curdling scream. The dream vanished. Reluctant to leave the dream and the past behind, Leah squeezed her eyes tightly shut, willing herself to go back to sleep, to return to how things used to be: full of colour, happiness and light. Not like now. Not the horror of what was now. In the feeble light of a candle, she saw an elongated shadow stretch across the wall, its legs and arms as thin as sticks, half its body trailing over the ceiling. Elements of her dream resurfaced as she sucked in her breath. Who was this creature? What was he doing in her bedroom, a lovely place of lilac and mauve with pretty white furniture?
‘Get out of my room!’ she wanted to shout, but no sound came out; the words stilled in her throat like a lump of food she’d failed to chew and swallow properly. Not that it could be food. Food was precious and eaten quickly.
Her pretty bedroom of pastel colours was replaced by mud-like tones and lumpy walls, dark green window frames and dingy curtains bearing more than a passing resemblance to old potato sacks – which they might once have been. More awake now, she recognised the smell of the room they all shared: the damp mouldiness of crumbling plaster, the accumulation of cooking smells from both this room and others nearby; rooms lived in by refugees like them, people with little choice of where they could go and what they could expect from those who begrudgingly gave them shelter. She knew now that the scrawny shadow twice the height of a normal man was that of her father leaping from his bed.
Reality crowded in on her. This place was not Austria. This place was not her bedroom. Back in Austria she’d had her own bedroom with a violet-coloured counterpane and wallpaper sprinkled with tiny, lilac flowers. They’d lived in a beautiful house with many rooms. The garden had been idyllic. It was always summer in the garden, or had seemed that way to her. Her father, a professor of economics at the university, had his own study and their kitchen had been large. There had also been servants. But everything had changed when Hitler came to power.
At first, her parents had done their best to protect her from the truth, teaching her at home when she was no longer allowed to go to school. ‘The school is being renovated and reorganised,’ they had said, but something inside told her otherwise. Her school had gone. Her friends had gone. Her world had turned upside down and fear had made her nervous and disbelieving of anything her parents told her. She didn’t need to be told they were living on the edge of a precipice. She could feel it.
‘Your father is on a sabbatical,’ her mother had told her when her father no longer went to the university. Then their house had been taken and her father, Professor Rudolph Westerman, had taken the decision to leave Austria and head for France.
‘The French motto is “liberty, equality, fraternity”; we will be safe in such a country,’ he’d confidently declared. So with the minimum of money and a few belongings stuffed into three shoddy suitcases – expensive ones might look as if they contained valuable items and were likely to be searched – they had fled to France.
For a while there had been safety but no beautiful house with a study and a garden. At first, they’d had two rooms, but so many people were now fleeing Austria and Germany in hope of a safety that seemed increasingly precarious as jackboots marched and subjugated one country after another. Then there was only one room and, although the roof leaked and the shutters didn’t quite fit, they’d felt safe – until now. War was declared and France was invaded.
For a while, before Dunkirk, they had held on to a faint hope. Her father had been full of confidence: ‘the allies will hold them back.’ But Rudy Westerman’s hopes had been in vain. Germany stormed through the Ardennes and into a country still fighting in the manner of the Great War: a static defence from behind the Maginot Line. the Germans had merely driven round it. Paris had fallen and, like a plague, the invaders had spread swiftly across the country. Now here they were.
The tall apartment block echoed with noise, thuds, screams, and shouted orders. Leah cowered at the side of her bed. If it wasn’t for the suitcases stuffed beneath it, she would have hidden there. A draught of cold air filtered into the room; Leah shivered. Her father had opened the door a fraction. He peered through the gap before shutting it firmly with both hands, palms flat as though that would keep out the threat to his family.
‘We have to go.’
‘No—’ Her mother’s voice was a long wail.
‘Rachel! We have to go. We cannot stay here. they are ordering us out. We must obey or...’
His wife broke down into tears, shoulders trembling, her face hidden in her hands. Rudy Westerman turned to his daughter.
‘Dress, Leah. Quickly.’
‘But I thought we could stay here,’ Leah whined, hoping her plaintive pleas would have some effect. ‘Anyway, it’s still night-time.’ She glanced tellingly at the mantle clock. Two o’clock in the morning. it was still dark and she was sleepy. Hungry too. At least hunger wasn’t so pressing when she was asleep, even though her dreams were full of food.
Seeing her reluctance, her father dragged her from the bed and pushed her towards the chair where she’d placed her clothes the night before.
‘Dress. And pack. We cannot refuse them. We dare not refuse them!’
His heart was heavy. His original plan had been to escape to England but he had felt for his tired family. Persuaded by his wife, he had fallen in with her wishes to settle in France. Her reasoning was not unsound.
There was a sound like thunder as the German soldiers used their fists, then their rifle butts on the doors of their neighbours living on the lower floors, finally kicking them in with their boots, splintered wood flying into the room. ‘ Schnell! Schnell! Get out! Get out! All Jews get out!’
Once he’d checked their suitcases were packed and they were dressed in warm clothes, Leah’s father opened the door to their apartment. Screams and shouts of protest rose from the lower floors as people were turned out of their rooms, told to bring only what they could carry. Children cried and babies wailed. Her father closed the door swiftly as the sound of thudding boots came closer.
Leah shivered as she pulled on her clothes. She badly wanted to go to the lavatory, but her legs were shaking so much she didn’t think she’d make it that far.
Her mother made a pitiful noise, her long white fingers curled against her mouth, her eyes wide with fear. ‘You said we’

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